Monday, 21 August 2017

EAB Pastor's Brother murdered!

Please pray for Pastor José Vieira and family in João Pessoa. His brother was a taxi driver and took a young woman to the Cristo borough of João Pessoa not knowing that she was an ex-convict and involved with drugs. Upon reaching the requested destination an ambush awaited her with various men opening fire to kill her, and in the process killed the taxi driver as well!

Pastor José Vieira is the pastor of the second of three EAB/ACEV main churches in João Pessoa in a borough called Cidade Verde. The wake is being conducted right now. Violence in Brazil is at unbelievable levels everywhere. 

Hectic Weekend

Sunday was an extremely full day which started with a 2 hour church business meeting in the morning which went very well. All sorts of matters were discussed such as how to improve some aspects of our services, and some new leaders were put in place in some of the church's ministries. It all went off very well.

As yesterday was our youngest daughter Sacha's birthday we all then went out for lunch together at a restaurant and that was great too. Quite a crowd with only our eldest grandson Felipe missing, as he's on military service.

Then we had to get ready for the Sunday evening service which is the principal service of the week, which I led and preached at, completing John 5 in my series in this Gospel. It was a lovely service and this was followed by various meetings with individuals who needed to talk to me like the leader from the Passagem church, the leader of the deaf ministry and the leader of the Christians in Action group. I got home pretty exhausted!

Tomorrow I have a new university professor lined up to see me. She is a bee specialist and wishes to set up research into native bees at Green Pastures which is something I have long wanted to see there. The professor visited Green Pastures whilst I was recovering from my surgery so already knows what it's like there. Another researcher is already lined up to start studies with frogs and toads. All this is so encouraging.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Meetings & Walk

On Monday evening our meeting with Dedé, who is the leader of the Christians in Action group at the Patos church, was long but very good. It was basically a review of all the different little works the group ministers at, as well as the fellowship group in Patos. Dedé is a quietly spoken unassuming father of two who is incredibly sincere and committed to the Lord and his work. Please remember him and the ministry of this group in your prayers.

On Tuesday morning Liz drove me out to Green Pastures where I had a nice walk of 1.2 km. I was pleased to see how beautifully in flower the Licania Rigida tree is along the banks of the now dry stream. I have not seen it flower so well for years so we hope for many seeds to transform into seedlings to plant along the banks where many have died during the droughts of the last 10 years.

On Tuesday afternoon we had a meeting with 2 single Mums who are to take on the leadership of the church's singles fellowship. It was nice talking, praying & and planning with them for the future. Then in the evening we chatted to a young Mum who is a Vet and who, together with her husband, will join the other couple already leading the married couples Fellowship to try and shake it up a bit.

Today I'm working on my sermon for Sunday amongst many other administrative matters. 

Monday, 14 August 2017

Great Father's Day service

Yesterday was Father's Day in Brazil, the 2nd Sunday in August. The second in May is for Mums. I managed to lead and preach and all went well. A packed church, lovely P&W, a good slot for the Dads and then I preached the Word. 

Please pray for Tarcísio at Green Pastures whose elderly parents are ill. His Dad (87) had his leg amputated last week and now his Mum (77) has been taken ill. We took more food for the hungry to folk from the Green Pastures area as things are tough for everyone, especially for the poor.

We've a lot of meetings this week. Tonight is with the leader of the Christians in Action group. Tomorrow we have meetings with the married couple's potential new leaders and later with the singles potential new leaders. I have a meeting with a Baptist pastor friend on Thursday and on Friday with our deaf pastor. Sunday is the Patos church members meeting.

Today, 15 years ago, my dear Dad died whilst on a visit to us. We have many happy memories of dear Dad and praise God for his blessed life.

Funeral Announcement

The funeral service of a very faithful EAB supporter, Peter House, will be held on Monday, August 21, at 1pm at Emmanuel Church, Shirley Road, Southampton. We praise God for Peter's 90 years lived for God and for his faithful encouragement and support for the work of EAB. Our prayers are with Margaret and the family.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

One & a half kilometers

Thursday evening's Bible study was again given by Liz this week. In the build up for the 500th anniversary of the reformation on October 31st we are focusing on this at the moment and the studies are being a blessing and a challenge.

I finished preparing my sermon for Sunday on Thursday and did some rounding off yesterday. This Sunday is Father's Day in Brazil and I never find it easy to prepare messages for this and Mother's Day in May as I much prefer doing straight exposition of the Bible, but in this culture one has to do these things. The challenge is to say something relevant and important to the fathers which is also relevant to everyone else. This I have endeavoured to do, but I don't feel entirely good about it. I value your prayers.

Yesterday I walked slowly at Green Pastures, but I did walk a total of one and a half kilometers which was great. I know the exact distance as all the walks there I have measured exactly with GPS. I experimented with the wide-angle feature on my iPhone which my grandson Arthur taught me existed! Here are a couple of examples: first of all the lake (which is full of fish) and then 2 native trees (now rescued from the Neem tree invasion!).

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Leaders' Meeting... Breakfast Surprise... School Special!

Tuesday night's Patos church senior leadership meeting went well as we prepared for the general church business meeting on the morning of the 20th. The meeting took well over two hours but was most worthwhile.

This Wednesday morning the Soup Run Team was up at dawn to surprise 200 extremely poor families with a lovely breakfast in the slums of Patos. It was a wonderful endeavour and practical example of God's love.

Liz and I went to spend some time at the EAB Patos School this morning and have a good meeting with the head-teacher. The school will be expanding it's work as from September from the normal 5-day week to include Saturdays as well. The Saturday expansion is to be in partnership with Compassion. It's a lot more work but we are all excited about this reaching out to yet more desperately needy children. The Action Child programme is now going forward with renewed enthusiasm and blessing. PTL!